McGregor picks Vegas for comeback

MOSCOW • Conor McGregor has revealed plans to return to the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) octagon in Las Vegas on Jan 18 against an opponent he stopped short of naming.

The Irishman told an event in Moscow yesterday that he wants three fights next year, including potential rematches with Nate Diaz and Khabib Nurmagomedov, who defeated him in a lightweight title bout - his most recent mixed martial arts (MMA) fight - last year.

"I am in prime physical condition, I have agreed the date with the company," said McGregor, who announced his retirement in March. "If I was to give you people the name (of the opponent), which I would love to do, the UFC would flip it because they are a crafty company, so for me, here's this one - ask the UFC who the opponent is because I do not give a f*** who the opponent is."

After that bout, he said he wants to complete a trilogy of bouts against Diaz, who beat him in March 2016 before McGregor had his revenge with a win in August that year.

"Obviously, I have history with Nate Diaz, we are set to have the trilogy bout. We'll see how that one goes, I feel Nate will get the better of (American fighter Jorge Masvidal on Nov 3), and then we will contest the trilogy bout."

The 31-year-old Irishman will then line up a rematch in Moscow against lightweight champion Nurmagomedov, should the Russian defeat American Tony Ferguson.

Outlining his intent to knuckle down next year, the Irishman revealed his plans to tone down his extravagance for a relatively ascetic lifestyle.

"It takes 66 days to form a habit. Now I go to bed early and get up early," he said, before highlighting his wealth. "A structured approach is the key to success. All billionaires must be organised.

"I will focus on the fight, I will not drink alcohol."

He has performed about-turns during his MMA career, having called time in April 2016, and before returning to face nemesis Nurmagomedov two years later in a fight that set viewership records.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 25, 2019, with the headline 'McGregor picks Vegas for comeback'. Print Edition | Subscribe